Regional

Regional
6:39 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Teen Arrested For Threat Against Glenwood High School

A 17 year old was taken into custody this morning after school officials and Chatham police were alerted to a message posted on Twitter.

The teen, whose identity is not being released, was arrested at his home for making an electronic threat and aggravated battery of a police officer.  Chatham Sgt. Scott Tarter said an officer was scratched when making the arrest.

Few other details are available as the case remains under investigation.  Tarter described the threat as "general" in regards to violence, "but definitely directed at the school."

Regional
6:47 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Mayor: We Are Doing Sewer Work

Credit Hartland Township MI

The mayor of Springfield took umbrage to a weekend editorial in the local paper.

The State Journal Register Sunday criticized the city for a lack of a comprehensive sewer program, following housing and street flooding after heavy rains in recent weeks.

Mayor Mike Houston called reporters together to remind them, as he approaches a re-election campaign, that the city is in the midst of a 10 year $60 million dollar borrowing program to fix some of the problem sewer systems.

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Regional
12:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

The Future Of Downtown Springfield Inc. In Jeopardy

A scene from the Old Capitol Art Fair in downtown Springfield
Credit flickr/Katherine Johnson

Without some help, Downtown Springfield Incorporated could cease to exist in just over a month.  The organization that helps put on events like the downtown farmer's market, blue and bar-b-q and serves as an umbrella group for various businesses is on the ropes financially. 

Victoria Ringer, Executive Director, says a 2012 Taste of Downtown event suffered from extreme heat, which kept patrons away.  After making up part of that loss, this year's outdoor blues show also lost money because of heat.

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Illinois Poverty
8:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

A Practice In Poverty

Ronetta Buckner (center) discusses plans with her virtual family
Rachel Otwell/WUIS

It’s been 50 years since the “War on Poverty” was launched. Around 15% of Illinois residents currently live in poverty, the same percentage of a half century ago. Universities, non-profits, and other organizations are teaming up to draw attention to the unrelenting problem. The University of Illinois Springfield is hosting a series of poverty-related events in the coming year. The first was a “poverty simulation.”

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Ferguson, MO
10:00 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Local Response To Ferguson

Members of the audience address the panel at the Sept. 4th NAACP meeting
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Last Thursday, over 300 people met in Springfield for a meeting titled “Saving Our Black Males Through Education, Information, and Communication." It was organized as a response to the situation in Ferguson, Missouri where an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer. One common refrain was that blacks in Springfield often feel targeted by police simply because of their skin color. Local police chief Kenny Winslow told the crowd that better communication is needed.

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Regional
5:44 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Teen Accused Of Leaving Newborn In Trash Bin Charged With Attempted Murder

Days after a 17-year-old girl accused of leaving her newborn baby alive in a trash bin was arrested for child abandonment, prosecutors in the west-central Illinois community of Jacksonville have decided to charge her with attempted first-degree murder.

According to The Jacksonville Journal-Courier,  http://bit.ly/1qHULly , prosecutors announced Monday the teen will be tried as a juvenile. Her name has not been released because of her age.  

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Regional
7:46 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Side Trips Along The Mother Road: Rt. 66 Signs And Statues To Spotlight Towns

Credit Illinois Rt. 66 Scenic Byway

Traveling along Route 66 in Illinois, you pass a lot of small communities.  And when you pass them by, you are missing out on history. 

A new project will showcase some points of interest. A series of interpretive signs and two-dimensional iron statues are being placed in 9 areas. 

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Regional
4:55 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Teen Charged With Leaving Newborn In Jacksonville Trash Bin

Police in west-central Illinois' Jacksonville says a 17-year-old girl is charged with child abandonment in connection with the discovery of a newborn baby found alive inside a trash bin.  

Police say the girl was arrested Thursday night, five says after the baby boy was found unclothed by an employee who heard a noise coming from the receptacle while taking out garbage.  
Investigators believe the child had been born less than 12 hours earlier.  

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Town's 175th Anniversary
4:59 am
Fri September 5, 2014

The Secret Ingredient in Arenzville's Burgoo

Burgoo needs to simmer for at least 12 hours, though Soup Master Tony Thomas says it's like chili -- "the longer it cooks, the better it gets."
Credit Amanda Vinicky

There's a farm town about 50 miles to the west of Springfield, in between Jacksonville and Beardstown, called Arenzville. Only about 400 people live there. It's the sort of place where old men gather at the only restaurant in town every Saturday morning for coffee. The sort of place where many of the last names carved into the tombstones at the local cemetery are the same as the last names a teacher is reading off of the class list when she takes attendance at school each morning.

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Regional
8:14 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Jimmy Carter To Speak At Illinois College Next Month

Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter is coming to Jacksonville next month.    Carter will speak on the campus of Illinois College October 14.  

The visit is part of the Phi Alpha lecture series.    The college's spokesman Todd Spann says more details will be released later.

President Carter will turn 90 years old next month.  He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for human rights work.  He served one term as president from 1977-1981.

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Regional
9:18 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Springfield Mayor Calls For Police To Wear Body Cameras

Credit flickr/JasonRojas

The mayor of Springfield says he wants police officers to start wearing body cameras next year.  

The State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/1w5F2P8 ) Mayor Mike Houston said Tuesday he'd like to allocate up to $200,000 in the next budget year for wearable cameras. The small cameras would attach to officers' uniforms and record interactions with the public. Videos could be used to review incidents, especially if an officer were accused of inappropriate behavior or excessive force.  

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Energy
5:37 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

FutureGen Takes Another Step Forward

The FutureGen site in Meredosia, Ill.
Credit WUIS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved permits for the FutureGen coal project to store carbon dioxide underground.

The permits approved Tuesday are a key piece of the project. FutureGen aims to capture carbon dioxide from coal at a power plant in western Illinois and store it. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas linked to climate change.  
The EPA said the permits are the first of this type for carbon sequestration.  

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Regional
6:37 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Newborn Found Alive In Jacksonville Trash Bin

Police say a newborn baby found alive inside a trash bin in the central Illinois community of Jacksonville is in good condition.

Lt. Chris Johnson of the Jacksonville Police Department says authorities are still searching for the mother of the infant. The baby was apparently placed in the trash bin Saturday morning, less than 12 hours after it was born.  

Johnson says police aren't releasing the gender of the baby or exactly where it was found.  

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Regional
1:07 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Updates From The Prairie Capital Convention Center

Credit springfieldpc3.com

The Prairie Capital Convention Center is the largest venue in Springfield, hosting everything from roller derby, to rock concerts, to conventions for Illinois teachers. It's seen a lot of changes over the past few years. We spoke with Executive Director of the PCCC, Brian Oaks, about the recent overhaul, the board that oversees it, and even a possible reality television show about its employees.    

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Regional
11:54 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Charities Stepping In Where Government Used To Be

School bake sales buy necessities not luxuries. It's part of "Charity replacing government".

Charities are finding themselves asked to step in to help pay for services and programs that were previously in the government's domain. It seems to be an increasing trend since the economy took a dip several years ago.

Private fundraising for government programs is not necessarily new. State universities have long engaged in fundraising, especially with their alumni and elementary school groups have long held bake sales.

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Ferguson, MO
11:27 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Update From Ferguson Via KWMU's Rachel Lippmann

"The atmosphere was calm enough Friday night that several people asked for and took selfies with Capt. Ron Johnson."
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday morning Michael Brown was laid to rest by not only family members, but politicians, community organizers, and hundreds of other members of the public. It's been two weeks since the teen was killed by a police officer. We checked in with St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann for an update on the situation in Ferguson. This interview took place on Monday morning:

CLICK HERE for updated coverage from St. Louis Public Radio.

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Ferguson, MO
12:57 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

In Wake Of Ferguson, Rally Planned In Springfield

A note from the @217Anonymous Twitter account re: rally

Derek French, a recent UIS grad says he's part of a "youth movement" concerned with standing up for citizens' constitutional rights. While he says the rally planned for Saturday from noon to 4:15 at the Old State Capitol is not directly related to the situation in Ferguson, the recent turmoil there makes this an important time for community activists in Springfield to stage a "peaceful assembly." Here's our interview with French:

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Tenth Street Rail Corridor
6:12 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Ground Broken On Tenth Street Rail Corridor

Officials break ground on the new Tenth Street Rail Corridor project, including Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL), Springfield Mayor Mike Houston, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL). The project will take two years to complete.
Credit Hannah Meisel/WUIS

  Construction of the Tenth Street Rail Corridor in Springfield has officially begun after a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday. Over the projected two years of construction, an underpass will be built at Tenth and Carpenter for vehicles and pedestrians, allowing trains to pass above.

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says diverting rail traffic from street level will provide better access to hospitals, which is vital especially in a life-or-death situation.

"When somebody has a medical emergency, time is of the essence," he said.

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Ferguson, MO
12:08 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Springfield Rapper & Activist Goes To Ferguson

The scene outside a church in Ferguson on Sunday
Ryne Goodrich

It's been over a week since an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The demonstrations against what many consider police brutality have yet to end. Some Springfield residents have gone to join the protests, including Ryne Goodrich. He's a hip-hop promoter, a rapper, and a community activist. Goodrich shares his take on the situation in this interview:

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Race
9:57 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Race, Cops & Traffic Stops

Patrick Yeagle

It's a modern turn of phrase you've probably heard before: "driving while black." It's the notion some people hold that simply being a black driver can make you a target for traffic stops by police. And, it's the topic of Illinois Times Reporter Patrick Yeagle's recent feature article. He spoke with police, and drivers who say they've been a victim of racial profiling in Springfield. He also looked into a study released by the Illinois Department of Transportation, which collects data about race and traffic stops.

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Regional
3:29 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Rochester Body Identified

Skeletal remains discovered in Rochester last month have been positively identified as those of a Decatur woman.

The Sangamon County Coroner, Cinda Edwards, says DNA  testing confirmed the identity as 43 year old Tracy Trimby.   Relatives were notified a couple of weeks ago, but the name had been withheld from the public until now.  

The remains were found when someone was cleaning out the shed on July 19.  
Police say Trimby's name was not on any lists of missing people. Authorities believe her death was a homicide because items in the shed were stacked on her.

Regional
7:00 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Feds Deny Permit To Store PCB's in Clinton Landfill UPDATE

Credit ehs.ua.edu

AP ADDS CLARIFICATION TO FOLLOWING STORY.

In a story Aug. 13 about a toxic waste permit, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denied a permit requested by an Illinois landfill to store PCBs. The EPA decided not to consider the request, meaning the landfill won't be able to store the chemicals. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided against giving a chemical waste permit to a central Illinois landfill that would allow it to store PCB.  

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Regional
4:43 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Police Searches More Likely For Minority Drivers In Springfield

Credit flickr/JasonRojas

A new report finds signs of racial bias in data collected about police searches during traffic stops in Illinois.  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois released the report Wednesday.   It suggests police are nearly twice as likely to ask blacks and Latino drivers to consent to vehicle searches during traffic stops than they are to ask whites. But white drivers are about 50 percent more likely to have contraband found during such a search. 

Springfield numbers are similar to the statewide findings. 

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Ferguson, MO
12:01 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Updates From Ferguson Via St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann

Demonstrators stand in front of the Quik Trip late Tuesday evening.
Credit Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

18 year old Michael Brown was shot by police on Saturday in a St. Louis suburb called Ferguson, and what was originally a peaceful vigil and protest the next day became a night of arson, rioting, and theft. Since then police and the community continue to square off as tensions around the shooting of Brown, who was black and unarmed, continue to spread. St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann updates us on where things stand as of Wednesday morning.

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Regional
7:23 am
Wed August 13, 2014

WUIS-SJR Business Report

The future "Metropolitan Place"
Credit sj-r.com

Turning an abandoned downtown Church into the "metropolitan place", Stanford Avenue expansion, a car dealership adds another brand and a chili parlor open again.

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Mayor's Race
4:47 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Langfelder Says Springfield Needs Better Jobs

Jim Langfelder

Economic growth in Springfield is expected to be a top issue in the race for mayor next year.   Jim Langfelder is among those running for the position.  The current city Treasurer says Springfield needs to find ways to bring in more high paying jobs to go along with retail expansion:

"It's great to see Scheels.  I think that was an anchor that helped spur development along MacArthur (Boulevard). I grew up in that area and went to school in that area.  So I have seen the deterioration from what it once was. What I would like to see are professional jobs being created," he said.

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Regional
2:09 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Around For A Century Or More

Wrigley Field

This Saturday, the Illinois State Historical Society will honor several businesses, municipalities, libraries and non-profits that have been around for 100 years or more. 

It's am impressive list, ranging from Wrigley Field and the Great Lakes Naval Base to the Illinois School for the Deaf and the country's oldest Dodge dealership.

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Regional
8:28 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Sangamon County Residents Give Thoughts About Their "Neighborhoods".

A new survey shows what Sangamon County residents think about their areas where they live.  Bill Wheelhouse talked with Ashley Kirzinger of the UIS Survey Research Office about the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission's Neighborhood Survey.

To view the survey click here

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Politics
1:16 pm
Sat August 2, 2014

Jim Langfelder Announces Mayoral Bid

Jim Langfelder
Credit Langfelder campaign

Springfield City Treasurer Jim Langfelder has announced he will run for Springfield mayor next year.  The son of former mayor Ossie Langfelder says the theme of his campaign is simple:

"You should do what's best for the city.  That's what it's all about.  That's how I ran the treasurer's office, to do what's in the best interest, protecting city funds, putting in safeguards and changing the way we do business in the treasuer's office.  And if you do that, everything else takes care of itself," Langfelder said. 

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Bomb threat
6:28 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Authorities Investigating Downtown Bomb

The Illinois Secretary of State Police Bomb Squad water cannon neutralizes bombs.
Credit Hannah Meisel/WUIS

  Authorities say they're investigating a pipe bomb that was found and destroyed Monday night in downtown Springfield. The Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad neutralized the bomb after it was found on the sidewalk outside of Brewhaus pub, on Sixth and Washington Streets.

Once local police were on the scene, the bomb squad responded by identifying the object, then disabling it in a water cannon.

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